After the aborted
For several days now speculation has been rife that Alexander Lukashenka could be seriously and perhaps even fatally ill. The Belarusian leader was visibly ailing at the celebrations in Moscow on
Polish-Belarusian journalist and activist Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years of hard labour in a penal colony on Wednesday by a court in Minsk. He has been in pre-trial detention since March 2021. The
The Foreign Minister of Belarus, Vladimir Makei died "a sudden death" on Saturday, according to the state news agency Belta. Makei had been in office under Lukashenka since 2012. Europe's press examines the potential political fallout and, given the unclear circumstances of his death, the question of whom it might benefit.
It has been two years since long-time ruler Aleksandr Lukashenka declared himself the winner of the
The Belarusian blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, husband of opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. The 43-year-old was convicted of "preparing and organising mass unrest" in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. For commentators, this shows once again how far Lukashenka's Belarus has moved away from democratic standards.
After years of negotiations, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenka have adopted the 28 'Union Programmes' in Moscow, which are intended to promote the harmonisation of their two countries' economic and financial policies. Commentators see this as a first step towards the creation of a joint state - but say that it is perhaps still too early to attach too much importance to the idea.
On 9 August 2020, Belarus's long-time ruler Alexander Lukashenka had himself proclaimed the winner of the presidential election, even though according to the opposition and international observers his challenger
The Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov, who had been reported missing on Monday, was found hanged from a tree in a park near his home in Kyiv on Tuesday. Police said investigations point to murder staged as suicide. Shishov was head of the organisation Belarusian House in Ukraine and supported opponents of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka who had fled the country.
The trial of
The Belarusian track and field athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has been granted a humanitarian visa by the Polish embassy in Tokyo. The sprinter had publicly criticised sports officials in her country, and was apparently to be flown home early against her will. At the airport she sought protection from the police. For Europe's press the episode sheds light on the repression and lack of prospects in Belarus.
So many refugees have arrived in Lithuania since Alexander Lukashenka decided to stop preventing migration flows in protest at EU sanctions that Vilnius has declared a
In the wake of the
The Belarusian state television broadcaster ONT aired a lengthy interview with the
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenka discussed their countries' economic cooperation in Sochi on the weekend. They agreed on the release of a 500-million-dollar credit tranche, but according to media reports no futher major decisions were reached. Commentators assess whether Minsk can still count on Moscow's help.
On the fringes of the Ice Hockey World Championships currently taking place in Riga, the city's mayor and the Latvian foreign minister caused a scandal by replacing the official flag of Belarus flying outside the hotel where the teams are staying with the white-red-white version of the opposition. Belarus reacted by expelling the Latvian ambassador and other diplomats. Now Latvia has retaliated by expelling the Belarusian embassy staff.
The EU has closed its airspace to Belarusian airlines and imposed further sanctions on individuals after the forced rerouting of a Ryanair commercial flight to Minsk. The plane en route from Athens to Vilnius was forced to land in Minsk on Sunday, ostensibly because of a bomb threat, but then the Belarusian dissident Roman Pratasevich, who was on board, was arrested. Europe's press calls for a more radical reaction.
The Belarusian authorities have blocked news website
In Belarus, one opponent of the regime after another is being put on trial. The trial against ex-banker Viktar Babaryka, who was Lukashenka's greatest adversary for a time, started last week. A day later, two reporters were put behind bars
The Ice Hockey World Championship is scheduled to start in Riga and Minsk in May, but for
In Minsk, a 31-year-old demonstrator has died of head injuries inflicted during his brutal arrest. He had tried to stop a snatch squad dressed in civilian clothing from removing the red and white ribbons residents had placed on a fence in the courtyard of an apartment building in the Square of Change. He is not the first casualty of the protests against the regime, which have not subsided despite the government's harsh crackdown.
In Belarus, opposition leader
The European Parliament's renowned Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has gone to the opposition in Belarus in 2020. The award honours the Coordination Council, activists like Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and committed personalities like Svetlana Alexievich, the Parliament declared. Europe's press questions whether the 50,000 euros in prize money are a significant show of support.
Alexander Lukashenka visited detained representatives of the opposition in jail for discussions on Sunday. According to media reports, he tried to persuade them of the merits of his constitutional reform. Two of the participants were released the next day, but a demonstration taking place at the same time was brutally quashed. Was the meeting the
In view of the situation in
Conflict in the EU persists over
Lukashenka has been sworn into office for a sixth term in an unannounced ceremony. The event was not broadcast live on television, as is usually the case, and the announcement that it had taken place only came afterwards. Was this confirmation of his status as a dictator alienated from his people or a clever move that prevented violent excesses?
So far Russia has been
Contradictory reports circulated on Tuesday after the disappearance of Maria Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition, and two of her colleagues. According to the Belarusian authorities Kolesnikova is in Ukraine. Acquaintances of the 38-year-old, however, have said that she was arrested. What consequences will this have for the
Aljaksandr Lukashenka openly admitted on Monday for the first time that the regime in Belarus is a "somewhat authoritarian system" and is centred around the person of the president. He suggested introducing a constitutional reform to be worked out by specialists and constitutional judges, but there was no talk of dialogue with the opposition. Observers are sceptical.
The fate of Belarus after its
After weeks of protests following the Belarusian elections, Aleksander Lukashenka asked Russia for help. Putin has now set up a reserve force for the neighbouring country. Commentators fear a
The EU leaders are discussing the situation in Belarus and the
In Russia, the politicians and the public are at odds as to how to react to the
The European Union is considering sanctions against Belarus over allegations of manipulation in the country's
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya left Belarus for Lithuania on Wednesday. Before her departure she had tried to lodge a complaint with the election commission in Minsk against the
According to official sources Viktor Lukashenko won 80.2 percent of the vote in Belarus's presidential election on the weekend. However, opposition candidate
Presidential elections will be held in Belarus on Sunday - but this time the usual election victory for Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for 26 years, is more uncertain than ever. The opposition has
The presidential election in Belarus is scheduled for August 9. Several opposition candidates who seem to have considerable popular support are planning to run for office. This could mean that President Lukashenko, who has been ruling the country autocratically for 26 years, may not win so easily this time. Or is even a change of regime on the cards?